5 Techniques To Mentoring Millennials For Best Results

Mentoring Skills
Published on
March 23, 2018

A study by Deloitte suggested millennials who intend to stay with an organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor than not. In the same survey, the millennial respondents said an ideal working week would include significantly more mentoring and coaching time than they currently receive.

Most companies focus on recruitment and do not put resources into retention. If you don't mentor your millennials, they will leave you," says Julie Kantor, chief executive of training and development firm Twomentor. Companies need to think creatively and structure formal programs to match the millennial mindset. The traditional one-to-one model of mentoring would not yield the same results when it comes to mentoring millennials.  

Mentoring techniques
Businesses must choose the appropriate model. Mentoring has long been associated with offering beneficial advice over a cup of coffee. But there is an increased focus on a concrete model known as sponsorship. An influential employee will increment thoughtful advice, help roadmap a career progression, and advocate when an opportunity shows up. In this new age, organizations must relook at their mentoring programs and implement what is being termed "modern mentoring."

Here are five mentoring techniques that your organization should adopt for your millennial workforce:

1. Fixing problems on the spot

Gen Y isn't going to wait to get through the office hierarchy to seek a senior leader for their problems. Millennials should be provided informal opportunities to approach mentors even when they aren't reachable at work. These "micro-mentoring" or "situational mentoring" are quick fixes to problems that would generally involve going back and forth on emails/meetings. Modern mentoring is seeing social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn for quick responses to workplace issues.

2. Knowledge transfer through Reverse Mentoring

Are you facing difficulties in wrapping your head around social media? Need advice on a new phone to buy? Millennials can help you out! Gone are the days when learning was a one-way street. One-sided mentoring fails to motivate millennials that are looking to be seen as equals at the workplace. Millennials are opening up doors to reverse mentoring - pair a senior executive with a junior and see how two-way learning weaves in its magic of effective outcomes. It's not just millennials who benefit from reverse mentoring. Reverse mentoring is an ideal method to utilize your workforce to train horizontally and vertically in an organization.

3. Self-paced Mentoring

If you're mentoring programs are rigid one-to-one sessions, then you might be losing out on a more significant part of your workforce. Millennials like flexibility, whether it's work from home or Bring Your Device to work; mentoring isn't too different. Give millennials the option of choosing their own learning time and pace. Mentors can look at non-traditional forms of mentoring such as podcasts, short videos, or conducting sessions over Facebook/Instagram live and reach a wider audience. Some organizations even provide "Learn on Demand" options wherein a mentee can log in at their convenience to access mentoring courses/modules.

4. Multiple mentors, multiple learning opportunities  

A single mentor can train 100s of employees; similarly, one employee can have multiple mentors. The advantage? Employees benefit by receiving training opportunities from senior executives that come from different sectors of the same business. Millennials get access to a vast wealth of experience and advice with innumerable learning outcomes.

5. The other mentor inside the organization

While mentoring at one's workplace is appreciated, millennials would like to network with people outside their organization. Most employees wouldn't be comfortable divulging too much to their seniors for fear of being judged.  

Regardless of the employee's business work culture, an external mentor might provide a platform for talking/asking questions. It gives the employee the freedom to talk about their career and personal ambitions. External mentorship is also a great approach to introduce new talents to your current team.

Every generation has its methods of learning. What worked for the Baby Boomers may not work for the curious millennials. Work out a modern mentoring program through various mentoring projects and experiment with different innovative ways of engagement, support, and guidance. Mentoring brings out the best in each one of us. It helps us grow and have a focused career. Mentors bring out an opportunity to learn and grow, and they also enjoy the feeling of helping someone else. As a result, you'll be optimizing your efforts and pushing yourself to grow both personally and professionally.

MentorCloud delivers a cloud-based, white-labeled platform shown to increase employee engagement and satisfaction by promoting intentional conversations between company-identified mentors and your workforce. Used by companies like Airbnb, Nvidia Corporation, and Marriott International, MentorCloud enables the rapid transfer of mission-critical skills and institutional wisdom across the force.  

It raises productivity and increases employee engagement at a fraction of the cost typically spent on employee learning and development.

If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved, and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.

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